Windfall Trailer: Jason Segel Robs Emily In Paris In A Dark Comedy That's Somehow Not An A24 Film

"Windfall" promises the sort of pandemic-borne storytelling that audiences want to see. Rather than the masks and contagions and the contact spread montages, the story, written by Justin Lader and Andrew Kevin Walker based on a story by star Jason Segel, director Charlie McDowell, Walker, and Lader, opts to translate the claustrophobic feeling of mandatory isolation into a home invasion riff with a simple, similar concept in the horror genre: a couple is compelled to stay inside their home by an uninvited guest.

"Windfall" sees a wealthy couple, played by Jesse Plemons ("The Power of the Dog") and Lily Collins ("Emily in Paris"), returning to a vacation home mid-robbery, and Jason Segel is the man holding them at gunpoint. The script has no names for the characters, who only go by "CEO," "Wife," and "Nobody." But director McDowell prefers the characters to be malleable for any audience, he tells EW:

We learned very little about these people previous to when the film starts, and we wanted the audience to project what they wanted onto these characters, and we didn't want to spoonfeed the audience with manipulating them to feel one way or another.

Watch the Windfall trailer

The concept is indeed a strong one that works for a post-pandemic crowd as well as one still watching movies from the relative safety of their homes. It's that domestic safety that has fallen in stature during the past two years as a virus spread throughout a landscape and cut swaths of its population, regardless of political party or creed. It's a time-honored fear to manipulate, one that worked for Wes Craven when writing his original slasher classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street." People think of their homes as beacons of security, until something upends that sense of stability. In some movies, it's a dream demon with bladed fingers, in others like Bryan Bertino's "The Strangers," it's a home invasion.

The choice to cast Jason Segel (who co-created the story) as a nameless assailant is an inspired one, cashing in on the actor's still-rising career as a comedic everyman and placing him in a position that seemingly represents the tired masses, sick of seeing the rich get richer while the rest of us are told to take austere measures and bend even further backwards to facilitate this wacky Rube Goldberg system of capitalism.

"You owe a debt to a hell of a lot more people than just me," Segel's Nobody insists to the tech CEO. It seems like "Windfall" will be just as much of a class reckoning as a windfall.

"Windfall" arrives at Netflix on March 18, 2022.